PG has just learned that the judge hearing Keiler et al v. Harlequin Enterprises Limited et al, a class-action suit brought by a group of Harlequin authors against HQ alleging a massive underpayment of royalties, has formally certified the authors as a class.
This means that the lawsuit, which was previously dismissed then reinstated in part by an appellate court, can move forward.
Here’s the order docket entry:
U.S. District Court
Southern District of New York
Notice of Electronic Filing
The following transaction was entered on 10/23/2014 at 3:00 PM EDT and filed on 10/16/2014
Case Name: Keiler et al v. Harlequin Enterprises Limited et al Case Number: 1:12-cv-05558-WHP Filer: Document Number: 49
STIPULATION AND ORDER REGARDING CLASS CERTIFICATION:… Pursuant to stipulation of the parties, and based on the allegations in the Fourth Claim for Relief of the First Amended Complaint filed November 5, 2012 (“Complaint”) and submitted by proposed class representatives Barbara Keiler, Mona Gay Thomas, and Linda Barrett, the Court hereby certifies the claims and issues in the Complaint for class treatment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, as more fully set out in this Order. When fashioning an order under Rule 23, the Court must satisfy itself that the prerequisites of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) have been satisfied… Once the prerequisites of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) are satisfied, a class action may only be maintained if the action falls within one of the categories enumerated within Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)… Accordingly, the Court makes the following findings and conclusions as stated herein. THE COURT HAVING READ AND CONSIDERED the Stipulation of the parties, and finding that the requirements of Rules 23(a) and (b) are satisfied, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the class is certified, defined as follows as set forth herein. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Barbara Keiler, Mona Gay Thomas, and Linda Barrett are designated as Representative Plaintiffs for the class; IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that DavidWolfLaw PLLC and Boni & Zack LLC are appointed Class Counsel; and IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Class Counsel are directed to submit within thirty (30) days of the entry date of this Order, a proposed plan concerning Notice of Pendency of Class Action to be given to the members of the class. (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 10/16/2014) (ja)
It’s not the end of the lawsuit, but, as mentioned, this is a major step forward for the authors.
The class covers authors from the US, Canada, UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand who signed standard HQ publishing contracts between 1990 and 2004 that included the following language in the All Other Rights clause:
On all other rights exercised by Publisher or its Related Licensees
ﬁf typercent (50%) ofthe Net Amount Received by Publisher for
the license or sale of said rights. The Net Amount Received for the
exercise, sale or license of said rights by Publisher from a Related
Licensee shall, in Publisher’s estimate, be equivalent to the amount
reasonably obtainable by Publisher from an Unrelated Licensee for
the license or sale of the said rights;
Which contracts also provide that New York law will apply and include no arbitration clause. The class covers those authors whose works have been published as ebooks.
The full order is set out below (click the four-arrows box in the lower left corner for a larger version):